Battery Monitoring

Cleanflight has a battery monitoring feature. The voltage of the main battery can be measured by the system and used to trigger a low-battery warning buzzer, on-board status LED flashing and LED strip patterns.

Low battery warnings can:

  • Help ensure you have time to safely land the aircraft
  • Help maintain the life and safety of your LiPo/LiFe batteries, which should not be discharged below manufacturer recommendations

Minimum and maximum cell voltages can be set, and these voltages are used to auto-detect the number of cells in the battery when it is first connected.

Per-cell monitoring is not supported, as we only use one ADC to read the battery voltage.

Supported targets

All targets support battery voltage monitoring unless status.


When dealing with batteries ALWAYS CHECK POLARITY!

Measure expected voltages first and then connect to the flight controller. Powering the flight controller with incorrect voltage or reversed polarity will likely fry your flight controller. Ensure your flight controller has a voltage divider capable of measuring your particular battery voltage.


The Naze32 has an on-board battery divider circuit; just connect your main battery to the VBAT connector.

CAUTION: When installing the connection from main battery to the VBAT connector, be sure to first disconnect the main battery from the frame/power distribution board. Check the wiring very carefully before connecting battery again. Incorrect connections can immediately and completely destroy the flight controller and connected peripherals (ESC, GPS, Receiver etc.).


The CC3D has no battery divider. To use voltage monitoring, you must create a divider that gives a 3.3v MAXIMUM output when the main battery is fully charged. Connect the divider output to S5_IN/PA0/RC5.


  • S5_IN/PA0/RC5 is Pin 7 on the 8 pin connector, second to last pin, on the opposite end from the GND/+5/PPM signal input.

  • When battery monitoring is enabled on the CC3D, RC5 can no-longer be used for PWM input.


See the Sparky board chapter.


Enable the VBAT feature.

Configure min/max cell voltages using the following CLI setting:

vbat_scale - Adjust this to match actual measured battery voltage to reported value.

vbat_max_cell_voltage - Maximum voltage per cell, used for auto-detecting battery voltage in 0.1V units, i.e. 43 = 4.3V

set vbat_warning_cell_voltage - Warning voltage per cell; this triggers battery-out alarms, in 0.1V units, i.e. 34 = 3.4V

vbat_min_cell_voltage - Minimum voltage per cell; this triggers battery-out alarms, in 0.1V units, i.e. 33 = 3.3V


set vbat_scale = 110
set vbat_max_cell_voltage = 43
set vbat_warning_cell_voltage = 34
set vbat_min_cell_voltage = 33

Current Monitoring

Current monitoring (amperage) is supported by connecting a current meter to the appropriate current meter ADC input (see the documentation for your particular board).

When enabled, the following values calculated and used by the telemetry and OLED display subsystems: Amps mAh used * Capacity remaining


Enable current monitoring using the CLI command:


Configure the current meter type using the current_meter_type settings here:

Value Sensor Type
0 None
1 ADC/hardware sensor
2 Virtual sensor

Configure capacity using the battery_capacity setting, in mAh units.

If you're using an OSD that expects the multiwii current meter output value, then set multiwii_current_meter_output to 1 (this multiplies amperage sent to MSP by 10 and truncates negative values)).

ADC Sensor

The current meter may need to be configured so the value read at the ADC input matches actual current draw. Just like you need a voltmeter to correctly calibrate your voltage reading you also need an ammeter to calibrate the current sensor.

Use the following settings to adjust calibration:

current_meter_scale current_meter_offset

It is recommended to set multiwii_current_meter_output to 0 when calibrating ADC current sensor.

Virtual Sensor

The virtual sensor uses the throttle position to calculate an estimated current value. This is useful when a real sensor is not available. The following settings adjust the virtual sensor calibration:

Setting Description
current_meter_scale The throttle scaling factor [centiamps, i.e. 1/100th A]
current_meter_offset The current at zero throttle (while disarmed) [centiamps, i.e. 1/100th A]

There are two simple methods to tune these parameters: one uses a battery charger and another depends on actual current measurements.

Tuning Using Actual Current Measurements

If you know your craft's current draw while disarmed (Imin) and at maximum throttle while armed (Imax), calculate the scaling factors as follows:

current_meter_scale = (Imax - Imin) * 100000 / (Tmax + (Tmax * Tmax / 50))
current_meter_offset = Imin * 100

Note: Tmax is maximum throttle offset (i.e. for max_throttle = 1850, Tmax = 1850 - 1000 = 850)

For example, assuming a maximum current of 34.2A, a minimum current of 2.8A, and a Tmax max_throttle = 1850:

current_meter_scale = (Imax - Imin) * 100000 / (Tmax + (Tmax * Tmax / 50))
                    = (34.2 - 2.8) * 100000 / (850 + (850 * 850 / 50))
                    = 205
current_meter_offset = Imin * 100 = 280

Tuning Using Battery Charger Measurement

If you cannot measure current draw directly, you can approximate it indirectly using your battery charger.
However, note it may be difficult to adjust current_meter_offset using this method unless you can measure the actual current draw with the craft disarmed.

Note: + This method depends on the accuracy of your battery charger; results may vary. + If you add or replace equipment that changes the in-flight current draw (e.g. video transmitter, camera, gimbal, motors, prop pitch/sizes, ESCs, etc.), you should recalibrate.

The general method is:

  1. Fully charge your flight battery
  2. Fly your craft, using >50% of your battery pack capacity (estimated)
  3. Note Cleanflight's reported mAh draw
  4. Re-charge your flight battery, noting the mAh charging data needed to restore the pack to fully charged
  5. Adjust current_meter_scale to according to the formula given below
  6. Repeat and test

Given (a) the reported mAh draw and the (b) mAh charging data, calculate a new current_meter_scale value as follows:

current_meter_scale = (charging_data_mAh / reported_draw_mAh) * old_current_meter_scale

For example, assuming: + A Cleanflight reported current draw of 1260 mAh + Charging data to restore full charge of 1158 mAh + A existing current_meter_scale value of 400 (the default)

Then the updated current_meter_scale is:

current_meter_scale = (charging_data_mAh / reported_draw_mAh) * old_current_meter_scale
                    = (1158 / 1260) * 400
                    = 368